Ginger and Dill Coleslaw Recipe

I don’t know what my body is trying to tell me, but I seem to have developed a high taste for all things Brassicaceae, and recently I’ve been hankering for cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, and cabbages of all stripes.

I have made so many batches of Cauliflower à la Mary Celeste my oven has stopped counting; I have stir-fried broccoli together with sweet potatoes; I have sliced raw kohlrabi to top with seaweed tartare (the one from The French Market Cookbook) and cubed it for a lentil salad; I have roasted Savoy cabbage and planted kale on my mini-balcony, dreaming of the 50 things I can do with it; I have roasted green cabbage with summer’s last bulbs of fennel and fall’s first heads of potimarron; and I have been making lots and lots and lots of cabbage slaws.

Such sliced cabbage salads are the most effortless way to transform a head of green cabbage into something fresh and satisfying to go with your hard-boiled eggs or your cold roast chicken.

Sliced cabbage salads are the most effortless way to transform a head of green cabbage into something fresh and satisfying to go with your cold roast chicken.

You just need to think of it a little bit in advance, as the perfect coleslaw requires the cabbage to sit for an hour with some salt to relax. This step is key in making the salad crunchy but not agressively so, and helps to season the cabbage thoroughly.

Coleslaws are open to any number of variations, but my recent favorite is this one, flavored with fresh ginger and dill. The combination was serendipitous at first — an open-the-fridge-and-see-what-we-got sort of inspiration — but I have gone out of my way to reproduce it since then, so zesty and aromatic it was.

I sometimes make vegan slaws with my simple tahini sauce, but the dressing for this particular version involves mayonnaise: not the bucketloads called for in some recipes, but enough to satisfy. I confess I don’t make my own mayonnaise for this, but rather use a very tasty store-bought mayo I recently discovered at the organic store; you can use plain yogurt if you like that better.

And although I have sometimes used my mandolin to produce wispy strands of cabbage, I find I prefer the texture of a coarser cut, sliced by hand with a sharp knife.

Join the conversation!

Are you obsessed with cruciferous vegetables too? What have you been making? And what do you put in your ideal cabbage slaw?

Have you tried this? Share your pics on Instagram!

Please tag your pictures with #cnzrecipes. I'll share my favorites!

Ginger and Dill Coleslaw Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves 4.

Ginger and Dill Coleslaw Recipe


  • 450 grams (1 pound) green cabbage, sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (substitute plain yogurt or vegan sesame mayonnaise if preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon strong mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • a 2-cm (3/4-inch) piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
  • a small bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Start at least 1 hour before. Place the cabbage in a colander and stir in the salt. Let rest for 30 minutes (if the cabbage is sliced very thinly) to 1 hour (if it is sliced more coarsely) to soften.
  2. Rinse thoroughly in fresh water to remove the excess salt (taste one piece to check) and drain well. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and pat gently to dry the cabbage further.
  3. In a medium salad bowl, combine the cabbage, mayonnaise, mustard, honey, ginger, and dill. Taste and adjust the balance of the dressing with more mustard or honey as needed.
  • We eat so many cruciferous vegetables it’s a little silly! Last night we had a curried cauliflower with tomatoes, very simple and delicious.

    A saute of cabbage and kale is one of my go-to vegetable sides for weeknights, just season with a few cloves of fresh garlic, plenty of olive oil, and a bit of salt and ground pepper. Very easy also!

    And we also have kale going in our mini-garden, I’m hoping in a few weeks the leaves will be big enough to start harvesting!

    • I’m still unsure when to start harvesting mine. I doubt it will grow much bigger than it already is because of the limited space, so I will probably snip a few leaves soon!

  • sillygirl

    I always have cabbage in my fridge and generally I riff on a salad but today for lunch I did a version of a Yotum Ottolenghi recipe. I fried a can of drained cannelloni beans in a little olive oil until they were getting crispy, added some chopped onion and lots of shredded cabbage (this is going to make 4 servings and it will cook down so do more than you think you need), salt, pepper, and a good splash of white wine vinegar. That is stirred and cooks to barely done. Then I fry an egg (for each serving) in olive oil leaving the yolk runny if you like. The cabbage mix goes in 4 bowls, top with a fried egg each and serve with a chunk of a good chewy bread. Since there are just two of us I set aside half for another meal – the cabbage reheats just fine but make fresh fried eggs the second meal.

    • That sounds *so* good, thanks for sharing!

  • I totally don’t eat cabbage or cole slaw enough… This looks awesome!

    • It is also said to be super good for you, with cancer-fighting properties and everything. :)

  • Oh my, that sounds so good! What do you do to me?? ;)
    Know what I am going to try soon.

    …hungry now :)

    Many greetings,

    • I hope you report back when you do! It’s such a simple and tasty recipe.

  • Clau

    I am intrigued to find out what fresh ginger does to cole slaw. I will try soon.

    • I hope you do! I find it works beautifully.

  • I think it’s the time of year – and the first Brussels sprouts are appearing in our supermarkets, which are my favourite, I think.

    My daughter made coleslaw for lunch last week, and very good it was, too! Our “tip”, gained from my mother, is to lighten the mayonnaise a little by diluting it with natural yoghurt – you want about 1/3 yoghurt to 2/3 mayonnaise (this also works to lighten cream-based dishes, too, by the way).

    But the courgette “hummus” you linked to a few weeks ago makes a wonderful dressing, too – or you could make it with tomatoes, which is nice but not spectacular (I tried!), and as we have too much cucumber at the moment, I plan to try with that, too.

  • candice

    I made cauliflower soup over the weekend; I also really love cauliflower sauteed to soft and brown with garlic in olive oil (after it browns, add garlic and a little water and cover so that it will cook through.)

    My husband grilled brussel sprouts in a little foil pan the other day and they were alright, which is high praise for me regarding those things.

  • I love cabbage, It is always in my fridge.
    Cabbage soup is a real winter treat.

    • I don’t often think to make cabbage soup. How do you make yours?

  • Yum…what a lovely combo.I love all those ingredients.
    I generally make a cole slaw with red cabbage and a mayo, lemon juice and quark mix to wish I season and add whatever fresh herb I have growing.
    Dill is definitely my favourite!

    • I love quark! We don’t get it here: we have very many cultured milk products, but not quark, and I miss its satisfying tang.

  • msue

    I purchased a beautiful head of cabbage yesterday, destined for chicken soup, but I completely forgot about it when making the soup! D’oh! This slaw will make use of the forgotten cabbage, as well as our garden dill, and that extra knob of ginger in the fridge. I had a wonderful slaw last week: Paper thin slices of brussels sprouts, mixed with finely shredded baby kale, in a light dressing that I’m still trying to figure out. No mayo in that one – more of a fruity vinaigrette that perfectly married the ingredients. Thought of you when I ate it!

    • A Brussels sprouts slaw? That sounds so good! Thanks for describing that salad, it is quite inspiring.

  • It must be in the atmosphere, because I’ve been craving Brassicaceae as well. Last night it was boring old kale sauteed with (vegans hide your eyes) bacon fat and onion. Never ceases to amaze me how good that is. But there has been local young ginger in the market and my mind is reeling with your proposed unlikely combination…I love these discoveries!

    • I’ve never tried sautéing kale in bacon fat, obviously I’m missing out!

  • I love brassicas – I probably eat my weight in cauliflower (which I like to roast and use in curries), broccoli (with pasta, chili and anchovies, stir-fried with mushrooms and tofu or steamed with a Japanese-style sesame dressing), savoy cabbage (in minestrone) and kale, especially cavolo nero (my favourite lazy winter meal is cavolo nero and cannellini bean bruschetta)… but for some reason I have a real blind spot about ‘ordinary’ cabbage! I don’t know why as I certainly don’t dislike it… I guess it just never looks as tempting as its more glamorous cousins. But given this recipe, I may have to rethink that – especially as I am addicted to ginger in any shape or form.

    • A girl after my own heart! :) And I know what you mean about the blind spot, I had it for Savoy cabbage for the longest time.

  • msue

    Wanted to update my earlier post. We had this wonderful slaw last night – it was a perfect accompaniment to our roasted veggie meal that had a gingery dressing. I added just the tiniest splash of a very mild vinegar that has the essence of orange – maybe a teaspoon at most. I suspect my mayo, Duke’s) is not as brightly flavored as yours, which made the extra touch of an acid work well. Loved this, Clotilde!

    • Thank you for reporting back Mary Sue!

  • Uma

    Clotilde, thanks for another recipe – I really like the mobile version of your site. Have been doing most of my non-work reading on my phone, so this is great.

    • Thank you so much Uma! I’m working on a new version of C&Z that will have a responsive design, i.e. the exact same website rearranges itself to fit different screen sizes.

  • Kristin

    After my garden’s bumper crop of tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and chilies, I’m craving the cool weather brassicas like mad too! My favorite slaw is inspired by the flavors of Southeast Asia: Bok choy, red and green cabbage, carrots, scallion, cilantro, and roasted peanuts dressed with a fish sauce, lime juice, red chili and garlic dressing. Yum.

    • The idea of that slaw is making me super hungry! I’ll try it for sure. How do you cut the different vegetables? Which ones do you slice thinly, and which ones do you grate?

  • Merci Clothilde — I had three tiny savoy cabbages in my garden. Used one to make a slaw with some grated carrot (also from the garden), green onion, and a siracha/fish sauce/lime/mayo dressing. Then followed your links to the roasted cabbage, which I’d never thought of — just lovely. Lunch was brown rice with roasted cabbage and roasted carrots.

    • I’m so pleased, Charlotte, and that slaw sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  • Monique

    Agree about ginger in cabbage slaws, a revelation! This one has become a favourite (somewhat similar to Kristin’s, Asian flavours + cabbage = joy). Grate about 2 cm (quite a large chunk) of fresh ginger into a bowl, add 2 tbsp (approximately) of lemon juice, and a few grated or finely shredded carrots. Let this marinate for about half an hour – the carrots will become deliciously spicy and zesty. Then add shredded white or Chinese cabbage, chopped spring onions, sesame oil and fish sauce to finish the dressing. Garnish with chopped peanuts. Delicious and keeps well (add fresh peanuts if serving later).

    • That sounds really good. Bookmarking it to try!

      • Monique

        Ah, so honoured to have inspired you :-) I forgot to mention that there should also be some honey in the dressing to balance out all the salty/sour/spicy flavours. Bon appetit!

      • Zed

        Ah, adding strips of boiled chicken in this would work well too

        • I agree! Or leftovers from a roast chicken.

  • This looks great. I love cole slaw especially in the summer.

    • Thanks Stacy! It’s true it’s a fixture of summer barbecues, though when you think about it it’s more of a cold-weather salad, especially with the mayo that’s best refrigerated…

  • Thanks for the super-refreshing recipe! Am on a cabbage-cauliflower-broccoli trip myself.

    • Glad that it’s not just me. :)

  • mimi

    Take the stems of broccoli (the unused part after crowns cut off) and grate them through medium grater. Saute minced garlic in olive oil with pumpkin seeds & diced kabocha; saute till squash is browned. Then add broccoli at last 4 minutes. Splash with juice of 1/2 lemon, pepper. Pretty much anything goes with this. Such as kale or quartered brussels sprouts. If you want a little heat, add dried crushed chile peppers or Tabasco.

    • That sounds spectacular, thanks for sharing!

  • Adorei a receita!

Get the newsletter

Receive FREE email updates with all the latest recipes, plus exclusive inspiration and Paris tips. You can also choose to be notified when a new post is published.

View the latest edition of the newsletter.